On July 28, 2014, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on EPA’s proposed Worker Protection Standards for pesticides.  CRE’s comments included the following Executive Summary:

“EPA repeatedly states that reduction of human chronic disease from pesticide exposure is one of the primary WPS benefits.  Yet even EPA admits there is no record showing that pesticide exposure as currently regulated causes chronic disease.

EPA also repeatedly states that there is an association between chronic human disease and ‘generalized’ pesticide exposure. The WPS’ blanket indictment of all pesticide exposure is irreconcilable with EPA’s conclusions during FIFRA registrations that individual pesticides do not pose any significant risk of human chronic disease.

EPA’s WPS statements about pesticides and chronic disease are inaccurate, misleading, unreliable, biased, and not based on reproducible studies.  They violate EPA’s Information Quality Act (“IQA”) Guidelines and EPA’s other data requirements for pesticides. EPA should revise these statements to clearly and unequivocally state that there is no scientifically supportable correlation between worker pesticide exposure, as currently regulated, and chronic disease. Any chronic disease concerns are adequately addressed during pesticide registrations. Consequently, there is no rational basis for counting reduction of chronic disease as a benefit of the WPS, and there is no rational basis for the Agency’s Cost-Benefit analysis.

EPA needs a new Information Collection Request (“ICR”) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”) for the WPS.  This new ICR is not enforceable unless and until it is approved by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). OMB is withholding approval of this new ICR until OMB has reviewed EPA’s response to comments on the WPS.  CRE’s comments demonstrate that OMB should not approve this new ICR because the ICR and WPS do not meet IQA Guidelines; they do not meet EPA’s other data requirements for pesticides; and they lack practical utility.

EPA’s cost benefit analysis for the WPS cannot support these rules because the analysis does not meet IQA Guidelines, and does not comply with OMB Guidance. There is no valid cost benefit analysis supporting the WPS, and the WPS should not be promulgated as final rules.”

Click here to read CRE’s comments.